Are those fake nails? No, it’s just CND’s new Shellac nailpolish

French CND Shellac manicure courtesy of Susan at Polished Beauty Bar when it comes to getting a manicure. I completely realize that this might be a little hard to believe. Really, the part I hate the most is waiting for my nails to dry — I’m too impatient, too used to being on the go. And for what? A week before the polish starts chipping? But recently, I decided I’m addicted to Polished Beauty Bar, as you may or may not have noticed from my tweets. If not for the sheer friendliness and deadpan humor of owner Susan Nam — who, by the way, barely needs to even look up to know who walked through her salon’s doors, greeting her clients by name and picking up from where it seems they last left off about their life and kids (whom she will, of course, also know by name) — then certainly due to my last manicure which kept up weeks longer than I expected. I went back a couple days ago to get a French manicure with one of her employees, as I bonded with Susan over our mutual Chi town suburban roots (who knew she went from the burbs to working on some of the most famous hands, which again, she’s too cool to really talk about herself unless pestered, as I can do quite remarkably I think).

ANYWAY, I was not even through with my second-go under the nail dryers post-manicure, when two of my white tips completely smeared. I pouted and showed my nails to the manicurist who quickly fixed them right up again. I went back under the dryers for, I’m not even kidding you, at least four more go’s to make sure they were completely dry, paid my bill and left. I went straight to shop at a nearby store and tried a bunch of things on in the dressing room, only to find afterwards that every single nail was entirely ruined. Something with that white paint for was just not working for me. Ugh.

Polished Beauty Bar on the UWS

I called Polished and they told me to come straight back. I thought I’d just stick to a single nail color this time to avoid the headache, but Susan took over and she had something better in mind. I’m not even sure if she mentioned it before she went to work, but this time I was getting CND’s patent-pending Shellac manicure. I had no idea what this meant at first. Turns out, Shellac is kind of like the Rolls-Royce of manis, a hybrid of regular nail polish and gel.

Ready for this?

* It looks like those pretty gel nails, but it won’t ruin your nail bed like one
* Lasts for at least two weeks
* Hypoallergenic
* Formaldehyde-, Toluene- and DBP-free
* Shines like ca-razy
* Can be removed easily with regular acetone nail polish remover
* And the best part (for me): there is no dry time.

Seriously, it was too good to be true.

No fake nails here, that's just Shellac nail polish.

After every coat, I just placed my hand under UV dryer for less than two minutes. Following the last coast, Susan just applied a little oil and wiped my hands with a warm towel. My new French mani looked 100x better than the first, and I walked right out with no smearing to speak off. They look almost too good to be my real nails but they are! It’s going to be hard going back to regular polish now…

You can’t do it on your own at home, unfortunately, but you can get them at a salon with licensed profesh. To get CND Shellac nails at Polished Beauty Bar, it costs $35 for a manicure and $45 for a pedicure — which I think is a steal considering gel nails can run you up to $85 or so and are way worse for your nails.  To find a salon that offers CND Shellac manicures near you, go to But if you’re in NYC, do yourself a favor and pay Susan a visit!

What do you think of CND’s Shellac manicures? Would you get them done?

Salon info:
Polished Beauty Bar

250 W 78th St # 1
near Broadway
New York, NY 10024-6517
Upper West Side


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Recent Comments


  1. Kiran wrote:

    I started getting shellac manicures at the end of January. Once you go shellac, you DEFINITELY dont go back. Its SO easy to just walk out, and not worry about smearing, chipping, ruining your manicure. I have gotten so many compliments on how my manicure always looks perfect ! Yes it is about 3x the cost of a regular manicure, but it also lasts a solid 2 weeks 🙂 Your nails grow out, but the nailpolish stays!

    Posted 5.4.11
  2. AB wrote:

    This is the story of my life when it comes to manicures! I just don’t have the patience. I definitely want to try shellac – HOW COOL!!!

    Posted 5.4.11
  3. Nicole O. wrote:

    Do they come in an array of colors? This seems so cool.

    Posted 5.5.11
  4. shyema wrote:

    They have more colors, but a small selection right now! Beiges, reds, pinks, orange, nudes, browns I believe!

    Posted 5.5.11
  5. shyema wrote:

    I just saw some places also have something called Gellac…does anyone know anything about it? If it’s similar?

    Posted 5.8.11
  6. qkhan wrote:

    I just had a shellac manicure (snagged a livingsocial deal) because my nail polish is never smooth, always smudge it or chip it. I did like the manicure because it was pretty enduring of my clumsy ways. But its not fool proof. you have to make sure your manicurist applies the gel nail polish correctly. I almost walked out with my finger tips glued to my nails. I repeatedly asked my manicurist to remove any polish on my skin because it kept clumping under my nail and on my skin. I also found that it can clump in the edge groove of your nail where it meets your skin and could cause the gel polish to peal as it does not adhere as well to your skin. so again the person who is giving you the manicure must be pretty neat and clean when applying.

    I also didnt realize that the only way to take it off is to soak your fingers in 100% acetone (not remover) for about 10-15 min. So it’s quite a commitment once u get one. Either that or you go back every two weeks for reapplication.

    Posted 6.1.11
  7. shyema wrote:

    Yeah I thought the removal would be a little easier, and it came off slowly but surely. Still, my nails are not left as brittle as it did when I tried acrylic nails (once and never again). I have to admit, I kind of went to the best (Susan is a pro), so I had no issues with mine, but I can imagine there would be if you your manicurist does a sloppy job. Mine lasted a good few weeks. I think I’d do it again if I go on vacation because it was pretty resilient for all the battery I put it through.

    Posted 6.1.11
  8. Hi there, after reading this amazing post i am too glad to share my knowledge here with friends.

    Posted 9.17.12
  9. Poonpo wrote:

    lovely and sweet nail

    Posted 12.9.14

Comments are closed.